Tarhana: A Bowl of Health in Cold Winter Days

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Winter is here. We now are careful to eat and drink things that keep us warm in snowy and rainy weather. It is important to drink things to warm us up. So, we don’t be ill. The first soup to come mind in this food in Turkey is Tarhana soup. Tarhana soup is good for health. This time, we are going to talk about the benefits of Tarhana while giving information about the types of Tarhana in Turkey. Tarhana is a healthy taste that warms us up in winter months.

Types of Tarhana

Tarhana soup is a very nutritious soup. In it, it has many vitamins, protein and nutrition.  Types of Tarhana changes from region to region, however, the richness in it stays the same. On the other hand, the benefits of Tarhana increase with each type. There are many types of Tarhana in Turkey. We can line some of them as below.

  • Aegean Tarhana
  • Flour Tarhana
  • Antalya Sour Tarhana
  • Kastamonu Moist Tarhana

With these types of Tarhana, Ball Tarhana and Göce Tarhana can also be counted. Every type of Tarhana comes out of the way it is prepared and ingredients. Tarhana soup is consumed with love and is a soup full of health, known for its nutritious texture.

How to Prepare a Tarhana Soup

In Turkey, Tarhana is prepared especially to that region. So, how is Tarhana prepared?

Take condensed yoghurt and leave it to wait for a few days. This way, the yoghurt turns sour and gets ready for the soup. With this sour yoghurt, the dough of the soup is kneaded. With yoghurt, egg, water and flour, the dough is prepared. In every region, different ingredients are added to the dough. After you knead the dough thoroughly, the dough is left to be puffed up. Spices, red pepper and with many other ingredients the dough gets richer. As a matter of fact, the richness of Tarhana comes from this natural richness.

tarhana yapılışı

After the dough is kneaded, you roll out the dough and dry it under the sun. However, you don’t dry the dough under the direct sunlight. It is done somewhere sun-soaked. This way, the vitamins inside the dough stays effectively.

The soup dried with the summer sun sometimes puts to insolation for a week. Then the dried dough is crumbled and powdered. It is put in jars to use as an instant soup.

How to Cook Tarhana Soup?

Dried and crumbled soup is now ready for winter days. You can cook it whenever you want.


This recipe is for 3-4 people. Let’s first count the ingredients.

Toz tarhana

  • 5 tablespoon Tarhana soup in powder form
  • 5 water glass water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • optional 1 tablespoon oil  or 50gr butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon red pepper and/or 1 teaspoon dry mint

Step 1: Put 2 water glasses hot water into a bowl and melt the powder Tarhana in it.

Step 2:  Heat oil in a deep pot at medium heat and fry the tomato paste while mixing it.

Step 3: Add 3.5 water glasses water, 1 teaspoon salt and mix it.

Step 4: Pour the Tarhana you melted in the bowl slowly to the pot.

Step 5: Keep mixing the soup until it boils.

turkish tarhana soupStep 6: If you like, you can add pepper, red pepper and/or dry mint.

Step 7: As the soup starts to boil, lower the heat and continue to cook for 10-12 min till the soup is in right texture.

Step 8: Serve it while hot. Tarhana soup, if waited, stiffens. If you have to serve it after reheating, add 1/3 water glass of water to reach the right texture and re-boil it.

The Benefits of Tarhana

The benefits of this soup richened with summer sun are countless. The types of spices, especially red pepper, yoghurt, onion and garlic make the Tarhana soup a healing soup for winter months.

  • It strengthens the immune system and helps to avoid infectious diseases.
  • It affects quickly against cold and flu, helps to recover.
  • Since it is a fulfilling soup, even you eat in small quantities, it makes you full. So, it helps in weight control.
  • It helps to fasten the digestive system.

Tarhana is the ultimate source of vitamin. It contains vitamins A, B and C. It also has zinc and calcium. Site-specific herbs can be also added in every region of Turkey. This way, the fresh and natural texture of it gets rich.

No matter what region it is in Turkey, Tarhana soup is an indispensable source of health and healing. Since time immemorial, it is kneaded with the hands of wise and compassionate women. This soup is also a traditional value that brings the whole family together and warms us up on cold winter days.  So much so that, even the family isn’t together, the smell and warmth of Tarhana soup remind everyone of family love and motherly affection.


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Translated by: Esra Nur Elmas

December 2020